Romans 6:13-14

In Romans 6:13-14 Paul reminds us that a person can be “officially” set free, yet still imprisoned. With Christ, we are completely freed from our sin. But if a person lives in prison for years, and then is set free, they often still think and act like a prisoner. The habits of freedom aren’t part of their life yet. Paul shows how to build the habits of freedom in the Christian life. “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” We’re equipped to live righteously for God, no longer slaves to sin in our lives.

Paul gives us some keys to living victoriously over sin:

  1. We must not present the parts of our body to the service of sin. We need to control the parts of our body – your ears, lips, eyes, hands, mind, and every other part, and keep it from being used for sinful behavior. The parts of our body are weapons in the battle for right living. When the parts of our body are given over to righteousness, they are weapons for good. When they are given over to sin, they are weapons for evil.
  2. We need to present ourselves in service to God. It isn’t enough to take the weapons away from the service of sin. They must then be enlisted in the service of righteousness – and, as in any warfare, the side with superior weapons usually wins. We have an obligation with our bodies, because we owe everything to the One who has given us new life.

Spurgeon said that these words give us a test, a promise, and an encouragement.

  1. It is a test of our claim to be Christians. Does anger have dominion over you? Does murmuring and complaining? Does covetousness have dominion over you? Does pride? Does laziness have dominion over you? If sin has dominion over us, we should seriously ask if we are really converted.
  2. It is a promise of victory. It doesn’t say that “sin will not be present in us,” because that will only be fulfilled when we are resurrected in glory. But it does promise that sin will not have dominion over us because of the great work Jesus did in us when we were born again.
  3. It is an encouragement for hope and strength in the battle against sin. God hasn’t condemned you under the dominion of sin – He has set you free in Jesus. This is encouragement for the Christian struggling against sin, for the new Christian, and for the backslider.

Grace is the path, the means, by which we can live in this freedom. It will never happen in a legalistic, performance oriented Christian life. It will happen as we live under grace. “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Sin no longer has any grip on us. It is grace, not the law that provides the freedom and the power to live over sin. The law used to be the way to God’s approval and eternal life. Everything changed when Jesus went to the Cross. He sets us free and equips us to live righteously before God. Once dead to sin, it is unthinkable to continue our former practice of sin. Grace not only frees us from sin, but frees us to live in harmony with God.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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